Expertise Determination Integrity Objectivity
Lorraine S. Aho, CPA. CFE
Ms. Aho is a Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified Public Accountant with over 20 years experience as a financial investigator, corporate controller, and Sarbanes-Oxley auditor. Her practice focuses on providing forensic analysis in business fraud and embezzlement, divorce proceedings, fiduciary misconduct, and elder financial abuse. She has presented findings at ADR hearings and volunteers her forensic services to the Sonoma County District Attorney's office. Ms. Aho is a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, the AICPA Forensic and Valuation Services section, the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators, and the past Chairperson of the Sonoma County Financial Abuse Specialist Team (FAST). In 2021, she received the Women in Business Award recognizing women leaders, innovators and visionaries by the SF North Bay Business Journal. Ms. Aho holds a Bachelor's degree from Oregon State University with post-baccalaureate work in Accounting at University of California at Berkeley.
Erik C. Aho, JD, CFE
Erik C. Aho, JD, CFE
Mr. Aho's career spans over 30 years of accounting and legal experience. He provides forensic accounting services focusing on elder financial abuse, fiduciary misconduct, business fraud and embezzlement. Mr. Aho is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, the WSBA Elder Law section, the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and the Sonoma County Bar Association. He recently served as an ombudsman with Sonoma County Senior Advocacy Services in protecting the rights of residents of skilled nursing facilities. Mr. Aho graduated from Lewis & Clark School of Law and holds two undergraduate degrees from Oregon State University with post-baccalaureate work in Accounting at University of California at Berkeley.
Michael J. Leonard, CFE, CFCI, CAMS, CFS
Mr. Leonard is a fraud specialist with over 25 years of financial investigations experience. As a former vice president for Exchange Bank, Mr. Leonard investigated fraud, money laundering, and counter-terrorist financing schemes. Prior to that, Mr. Leonard served as a Sonoma County Sheriff Detective and specialized in fraud and complex financial crimes. Mr. Leonard now serves as an expert witness in general and occupational fraud cases as well as money laundering cases, and is a popular speaker and instructor on criminal aspects of fraud and money laundering. He is a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the California Financial Crimes Investigators Association, and the High Tech Crimes Investigation Association. He is also a member of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists and the International Association Financial Crimes Investigators. Mr. Leonard holds a Masters degree and Graduate Certificate from City University and a Bachelors degree from California State University, Long Beach.
Sonya Paxton, CFE
Ms. Paxton is a Certified Fraud Examiner and forensic analyst with extensive experience in complex financial reconstructions, particularly in business, divorce, and trust matters. She is superbly skilled in discovering undisclosed accounts and tracing funds through sham transactions. As a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Ms. Paxton has a keen eye for detecting fraudulent financial behavior and accounting irregularities. She holds multiple degrees in mathematics and fine arts from Napa Valley College, a unique academic combination that allows her to discern the ‘big picture from small numbers.’
Lindsey Ladd, AA
Ms. Ladd is a Certified Fraud Examiner candidate and forensic analyst with over 10 years of experience as an accountant for small businesses and large medical practice groups. She is particularly skilled in investigating human resources fraud such as ghost employees, expense padding, billing abuses, and collusive embezzlement by HR staff. She is also keenly interested in preventing and investigating fraud in the grant-based environmental non-profit area. To that end, she is pursuing a degree in Environmental Science at Sonoma State University as an extension to her associates degree that focused on Criminal Justice.
Jennifer Blackwood, MA
Ms. Blackwood is a litigation support specialist with more than 10 years of experience in organizing and maintaining client projects involving adversarial and evidentiary issues. Her previous work includes designing improved workflows and vetting team dynamics in troubled multi-location healthcare companies, with the objectives of improving workplace efficiencies and reducing the potential for workplace and healthcare fraud and patient litigation. Ms. Blackwood holds a master's degree in Organization Development from Sonoma State University and certificates in Conflict Management and Human Resources Management. She is also a Certified Critical Incident Facilitator, a competency that has been particularly valuable in forensic projects involving vulnerable or emotionally distraught clients, such as in elder financial abuse cases and highly confrontational marital dissolutions.